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Monday, December 24, 2012

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Will Senate Find Solution to "Fiscal Cliff"? - the buzz is it is now up to Senate leaders to craft a last minute budget agreement to avoid the mandated spending cuts and tax increases effective January 1.

What is likely is a stop gap agreement to extend the Bush administration tax cuts for all except those earning more than a figure somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000.  In addition, an extension of unemployment benefits along with some spending cuts will be included. 

With passage in the Senate, the onus would be on the House to pass it and with Democratic support, only a minority of Republicans would be needed to pass it in the House.  The NY Times has more here.


4 Firefighters Shot, 2 Dead after Responding to Blaze - firefighters responding to a large blaze in Webster, New York, were met with gunfire as they emerged from their fire truck.  Details are still coming forth on this breaking story.  This incident will surely add fuel to the call for Congress to pass gun control legislation. has updates here.


A "Crazy" LaPierre Continues Opposition To Gun Control Measures - appearing on NBC "Meet The Press" yesterday, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, said "If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy".

Meanwhile, political leaders from both sides of the aisle are moving forward to enact legislation in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.  Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calf.) has promised to introduce legislation banning assault weapons and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) expressing support to limit sale of large capacity ammunition clips.  You can read more here.


Hagel Nomination for Defense Secretary Faces Tough Climb - if, another name is floated soon as a possible nomination by President Obama for Defense Secretary, it will spell more trouble for former Republican Chuck Hagel.

In addition to Republican Senators expressing opposition to Hagel, even Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) ha sdeclined to offer support. has more here.


Obama Attends Inouye Funeral - President Obama, vacationing in Hawaii for the holidays, attended the funeral for the late Senator Daniel Inouye (D).  He made a brief visit to the grave of his grandfather, World War II veteran Stanley Dunham, after Sunday’s service. has more here.


Most Expensive Campaigns of 2012 - the cost continues to escalate for candidates wishing to become a member of the House and Senate and has a list of the top races from 2012 here.

The race between Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who emerged the winner, led the list with a total cost of $85,429,334.

Campaign finance reform, anyone?


Movie "Promised Land" Brings Attention to Dangers of "Fracking" - state legislators are facing demands for increased regulations on the practive of "fracking" to aid developers extract natural gas from the earth.  The movie, starring Matt Damon, has elevated the issue to a national issue and one that Congress will likely take up in 2013.  Reuters.ocm has more here. 


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